Recipe: hiker’s porcini mushroom risotto

This sophisticated one-pot meal provided a gourmet end to our hike up Mt Kohukohunui. It is rich and satisfying and tastes much more luxurious than anything you’d expect from a camp stove!

Porcini are the king of Italian mushrooms and are usually easy to find dried in delis. Don’t be alarmed at the price tag – you only need a little and they’re well worth it. They’re great for camping because they pack plenty of flavor yet are incredibly light when dried.

If you can’t find porcini don’t worry – other flavorsome mushrooms will work just as well. I’ve even been lucky enough to scavenge mushrooms while hiking for a tasty risotto dinner!

It suits vegetarians and can also be made vegan.

This risotto is super-light with a total ingredient weight around 280g for two servings.

The ingredients for two servings weigh just under 280g

Serves 2.


  • 150g or 2/3 cup arborio rice
  • 1 tbsp dried garlic flakes
  • 2 tbsp dried onion pieces
  • 20ml olive oil
  • few sprigs of thyme and Italian flat-leaf parsley (or dried parsley and thyme)
  • Mushroom or chicken stock cube – enough to make about 1/2 liter stock
  • 20ml dry sherry (optional)
  • Around 40g dried mushrooms – some porcini, some milder mushrooms
  • Salt to taste
  • 20g dried grated parmesan cheese


  1. Boil up enough water to just cover in one cup the dried onion and garlic, and in another cup, the dried mushrooms. Leave to soak.
  2. Meanwhile, boil another full pot of water and dissolve stock. Set stock aside to add gradually to your risotto pot.
  3. Squeeze excess water from the onion and garlic. Heat oil in your largest pot, and gently fry the onion and garlic for a minute or two until it begins to soften.
  4. Add rice and stir for about a minute. Add sherry, continuing to stir continuously so it doesn’t stick.
  5. Add rehydrated mushrooms and chopped herbs.
  6. When the sherry has been absorbed, add a little stock, enough to cover the base of the pan. Stir. Repeat this pattern for about twenty minutes until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice tastes cooked. If the rice still isn’t cooked, add a small amount of water until it is.
  7. Stir in about half the parmesan. Taste and add salt if needed.
  8. Serve topped with remaining parmesan.
The finished risotto

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